Effects of Tai Chi on partial anterior cruciate ligament injury: A single-blind, randomized-controlled trial
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Objectives: This study aims to investigate the effects of Tai Chi (TC) exercises on muscle strength, pain, proprioception, and knee function in patients with partial anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries. Patients and methods: Between March 2017 and January 2018, a total of 58 patients with partial ACL injuries (30 male, 28 female; mean age 25.5 +/- 6.4; range, 18 to 36 years) were included in the study. The patients were randomly divided into two groups: TC group (n=29) and control group (n=29). For both groups, an activity modification approach was applied. The TC group participated in a 24-week TC exercise program, while no exercise or home-based program was administered to the control group. Isokinetic knee extension and flexion muscle strengths were evaluated at angular velocities of 60 degrees/sec and 180 degrees/sec. The visual analog scale (VAS), isokinetic system, Lysholm Knee Scale (LKS), and International Knee Documentation Committee 2000 (IKDC-2000) were used for the evaluation of pain, proprioception, and knee function, respectively. Results: Significant changes were found in the TC group for the knee extensor muscle strength measured at an angular velocity of 60 degrees/sec (p=0.012) and 180 degrees/sec (p=0.011), VAS pain (p=0.005), and proprioception (measured with isokinetic device) (p<0.001). While knee extensor muscle strength, pain, proprioception, LKS, and IKDC-2000 scores improved in the TC group, improvements were recorded only for LKS and IKDC-2000 scores in the control group. Conclusion: Based on these results, we conclude that TC exercises can yield positive outcomes on the knee extensor muscle strength, pain, proprioception and knee function in patients with partial ACL injuries. Hence, TC exercises can be used as a novel method by researchers and clinicians in the treatment of partial ACL injuries.